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WW2 Catalina flying boats return to Fermanagh base

WW2 Catalina flying boats return to Fermanagh base this weekend…..and I can’t go … I’m working in my wifes studio… anybody know good solicitors?
Catalinas and Sunderlands were based at St Angelo in Lough Erne during WW2. They where mainly used for U-boat surveilance and north Atlantic convoy protection. Two ‘Cats’ are making an appearance as well as many other seaplane types.
About a month or so ago I posted a message in one of the groups I host Days Gone By the story of a very famous American pilot Roland’Bud’Wolfe who flew Spits’ out of Northern Ireland. Well Dan Snow and his team are currently making a documentry about him and his Spitfire and lots of other very interesting stuff that i’m not going to relate … ‘cause i’m a lazy bugger and you can find out for your selves.. but i’m giving you the links! lol
Also today saw the publishing of a long unknown diary of the SAS ….charting from its conception, long since forgotton and top secret stuff about David Stirling and Paddy Maynes men. Col Paddy.. an Ards man.. his statue (rather smaller than Paddy was) is pride of place in the square in Newtownards. Col Paddy Mayne was the most decorated soldier in the second world war… he was never awarded the VC … fact was .. he never got on with the hierarchy… (was he bovvered? Like as f’***!) Friend of mine wrote a book about him..SAS Paddy Maynes Men and one by Roy Bradford Rogue Warrier

Here you’ll find pics so far of the Bud Wolfle’s Spitfire remains and other stuff

thats enough to keep you busy tonight



  • joak
    joakabout 3 years ago

    ma grandad made my dad a wooden Sunderland when he wis wee and he gave it to me but i wis to stupid tae take care of it it was a stunnin bit o work and i hate ma sel for wastin it

  • Aye we’ve all done stuff like that .. we don’t appreciate these things untill we get older.My granny used to collect brass. It was everywhere and twice a week it was rubbed and polished untill eventually all inscriptions on it had disappeared. I used to hate going home from school those two days in the week.. Two boring hours i used to sit blacking my hands an smelling o’Brasso.. hated it .There were shell cases over a foot long, ones with turkish markings on the bottom , ones with trench art scratched into them.. all from the first war my grandfather and relatives brought home .. the ones that came home that is. There were Victorian pots ,bellows,hearth sets, bells candle sticks ,plates,! i hated them all. Today I have all that remains … pair of brass candle sticks big .. about 16 or 17 inches high and a p;late my grandfather had …featuring Belfast mineral Water Co. at the worlds fair in Paris , Chicago, New york.etc…. ya know? I love them!

    – oulgundog

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47about 3 years ago

    Looked at all this stuff ~ got stuck in the Spit Remains Twitter labyrinth, but finally found my way out! And it’s now Sunday morning; nice leisurely time to peruse & ponder. The Catalina is a wonder. Did he say ‘like an old COW’? Never saw a flying cow, but I understand that they occasionally get airborne in a tornado. Sad to hear Joak’s story above, & yours about the brass, especially about the loss of ‘trench art’. Ooh, that must hurt! And Turkish markings; brings to mind Gallipoli & other horrors. But as you say, we all have tales like that, of one sort or another. Most intriguing, Steve.

  • oulgundog
    oulgundogabout 3 years ago

    It’s an absolutely amazing and in part unbelleivable story Sheila. The story of Roland ‘Bud’ Wolfe in itself is amazing, but the circumstances he found himself in and the events that followed are truely bewildering , farcical and just plain gob smacking! A romantic comedy The Brylcreme Boys was made in 1998, loosely based on the Curragh internment camp he was sent to… nobody believed it existed.. here’s a little snippet from The Guardian review of 1999….

    ‘The Irish run this unlikely establishment, and inside its barbed wire fences and four machine-gun towers, Allied and German prisoners are held side-by-side, in conditions akin to a holiday camp. The Irish guards aren’t really serious, and only have blanks in their guns. The ‘prisoners’ have their own bars stocked with duty-free booze, and are allowed out on parole to go shopping, drink in the local pubs, play golf, attend the races, go fishing and even pursue romances with local women. Such a ridiculous melange of Colditz, Mash, Dad’s Army and Father Ted only needs that Monty Python colonel complaining that things are getting too silly to complete the picture.

    There is one difficulty in dismissing this film as entertaining, but unconvincing, nonsense, though: it is that the historical premise is true. The camp, on the Curragh, 30 miles west of Dublin, existed, and although few of the prisoners are still with us, their diaries are scattered around the world, from Canada to Germany to New Zealand.

    And while neither official sources in Britain nor histories of Ireland mention the bizarre anomaly – and the Imperial War Museum until recently regarded it as a kind of urban myth – the story is backed up by documents and memorabilia in the Irish Army’s archives and in Canadian files in Ottawa.

    The Curragh camp, one of the last and strangest war secrets to be revealed, was a section, known as K Lines, of an Irish Army base. Two of the original huts are still there, visible from a public road, and used as homes for an army commandant’s family and a group of nuns.

    The makers of the Brylcreem Boys had to play down the lunacy of the true events to have any hope of being believed. ‘At every turn during the 15-year process of research and raising money for the movie,’ says one of the film’s researchers, Susan Morrall, ‘We were told, ’come off it, this is just Brigadoon’.’ (The name of the fantasy, disappearing Scots village in the Vincente Minnelli musical.) One story kept out of the film for credibility’s sake was about two Canadian RAF flyers who crash-landed in Ireland only a few miles from the Curragh camp. Emerging from the wreck thinking they were close to their Scottish base, they spotted a pub and decided to celebrate their survival. They entered the saloon bar to find it heaving with Germans, who, since one was having a birthday, had been given special permission by the Irish to wear Nazi uniforms outside the camp instead of the customary civvies. To add to the Canadians’ confusion, the Germans shouted at them to ‘go to their own bar’. The landlord had found the best way to stop Allied versus Nazi brawls was to allocate the public bar to one group and the saloon to the other.

    The single most extraordinary K Lines episode documented in the Dublin archives also illustrates the serious political implications of the Curragh camp to the war effort, regardless of how funny it may seem now. On December 13, 1941, an American pilot with the RAF, Roland L ‘Bud’ Wolfe, 23, escaped from the camp – but was sent back by his own side.

    Bud Wolfe was from McGehee, Arkansas, and had joined the RAF because he was desperate to fly in combat and wasn’t prepared to wait for the US to join the war. After ditching his plane in County Donegal, he was picked up by the Garda and, to his fury, interned. Wolfe found himself with over 40 British, Canadian, New Zealand, French and Polish airmen, magnificently fed, on courteous terms with the guards – and just across a corrugated-iron fence, only four feet high, from several hundred men of the Luftwaffe and the German Navy who had strayed into Eire because their planes had run out of fuel, or their U-boats had been shipwrecked

    Bud went on to more exploits in the USAAF and retired with some tales to tell. When I heard Dan Snow was making a documentry about him and a dig to find the plane and other stories .. I was hooked!
    Yep Twitter is a bit of a minefield and to be honest I don’t know my way around it much. I only joined to try to contact my sister in Christchurch during the quake,,,eventually by way of a roundabout route through a nephew in Tokyo I got news of her and the family LOL. And of course it was useful in turn about finding out how my nephew was during Japans disasters!! Modern communications eh.. to think it used to take 3 weeks for a letter to reach Austrailia by Empire Flying boat!LOL Also to keep in touch with one of my boys at the int.Scout Jamboree in Sweden this year… didn’t work .. I think I only got one message! However it is useful for following Dans progress and what Rory Mcilroy gets up to next!
    It’s now after 4pm here .. so you’ve still got most of the day where you are LOL!